The ninth annual tournament and fundraiser for Happy House Build Better Families returned May 17 at a surprising venue with a surprising host.
Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson and co-founder of Happy House, opened her home and beautiful back yard to host the event. Poker pro Kenna James taught a poker boot camp before the tournament and also played. James has been supporting this event for seven years and started giving the boot camp in 2011.
“I enjoy making people happy, especially kids,” he said. “Nancy is a friend who not only plays a kid on TV, she is also a great helper of kids and their cause, and I respect that. So, when she asked me, I was happy to help.”
There was a barbecue, live music, games, great raffles with one-of-a-kind prizes, silent auction and much more.
The Happy House mission is to help bring about a safer community by “building better families.” A “family” in this case can be small or large; it can be a school, church, business, neighborhood or even a country. The basics of the program are teaching children common-sense values. There are chapters in California, Washington, Ohio and South Africa.
Happy House doesn’t publish the amount raised, but this year they raised 30 percent more than last year, making it the most ever. All funds raised go to the program.
There were 155 players who paid a $75 early bird or $100 buy-in. The grand prize this year was a table read with The Simpsons. David Meltzer, owner of Affliction Watches, took the top prize.
Other prizes for the final table included two tickets to the American Idol season finale, a four-hour L.A. police department “fly along,” Teen Choice Awards tickets and Laugh Factory Comedy Club tickets.
PALA: Joseph Gonzales from Mira Loma, Calif., outlasted 224 players to win the River Card Quest for the Cup championship on May 24. It was the main event of the 10-day, 18-event Pala Poker Spring Open. The prize pool was $28K.
After 10 hours of play in the Pala events center, 21 players remained “in the money” and the game moved to the Pala poker room to finish.
The battle for first place came down to Gonzales and Steven Alkema of Fallbrook. The fateful hand found both players all-in preflop and Alkema dominating with K-Q vs. Gonzalez K-J. Gonzales flopped a jack and that was it. Gonzales took home $4,239 and the River Card trophy while Alkema won $3,214.
— Email Kittie Aleman at email@example.com.